Putumayo Presents Latin Jazz (Putumayo World Music PUT265-2, 2007)
Is it world music or is it jazz? Latin jazz has always been difficult to categorize. Some purists find it too ethnic to be jazz. Whatever it is, it’s great music. On Putumayo Presents Latin Jazz, the world music public will be able to listen to some of the great masters of Latin jazz.
Although jazz is definitely present in the form of improvisation, Latin jazz is known for its Afro-Latin (primarily Cuban and Puerto Rican) beats and melodies. The compilation includes key historical figures such as Machito and Tito Puente along with artists who are still alive and touring: Poncho Sánchez, Manny Oquendo & Libre and Eddie Palmieri. There are also pieces by two recently departed musicians, Ray Barretto and Hilton Ruiz.
Great music for a summer night. Highly recommended.